A new, retro-flavored, funk-inspired campaign from Laughlin Constable’s in-house production company, Hive, should have Milwaukee Bucks fans cheering and dancing in their arm chairs.
With energetic editing, existing footage, and a bouncy, in-your-face, Samuel Jackson style voice-over (Eddie Faura), the work helps the team make a convincing case that they are set to revisit the greatness of years past as they celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The series of six spots celebrate the half-century mark by combining past Bucks’ greatness with the newbies in a retrospective that reminds the older generation of fans why they fell in love with the NBA team in the first place: and to catch the attention of younger fans with today’s up-and-coming team.
Each spot ends with the same line, “You’ve got to respect the past if you want to own the future.”
For instance, there is the spot titled 34, which compares current all-star Antetokounmpo with a couple of lesser-known Bucks like 12-time all-star Oscar ‘The Big O’ Robinson and 15-timer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
LC Creative Director Pat Laughlin had this to say about the campaign, “When the Bucks approached us leading into the season the goal for us was to connect the past to the current team. For the seasons leading up to the 50th anniversary the angle was always “own the future,” with an obvious forward leaning tone focused on the up and coming talent.”
He went on to explain the agency’s creative process:
“As avid sports fans, we knew that whatever we ended up doing for the Bucks would be seen a ton during the broadcasts, so we wanted to create a vessel that would make the campaign feel tied together but each spot could contain nuggets fans could relate to. The opening graphic of the marquee player from each of the 5 decades of the Bucks along with the line ‘You’ve gotta respect the past if you wanna own the future,’ were the keys to getting everything going.”
Take a look below at the spot, Nicknames, which compares memorable players such as Darvin ‘Ham Slamwich’ Ham and Rafer ‘Skip to My Lou’ Alston to today’s players nicknames like Giannis ‘The Greek Freak’ Antetokounmpo and Khris ‘Kha$h Money’ Middleton, rattling them off with some serious flow.
The inspired Positionless displays how the Bucks pioneered the now-trendy style of play back in the 70s/80s. In yo’ face!
As for using game footage, Laughlin explained how Hive worked in tandem with the Bucks to bring the ideas to life:
“They gave our editor access to the NBA archives for footage, of which there were troves of videos from all sorts of angles. Some of the challenges we faced were with the older footage just not having the player we wanted. Like Jack Sikma was impossible to find anything good. Either the footage was too grainy or just didn’t exist. So, our work around was finding photography, cutting it out and then putting some motion and graphics behind it … In terms of current footage, the database was insane. We’d watch a game and if someone made an incredible play (usually Giannis) we’d search for it and then have it ready to roll for a spot. There was even a lot of phantom footage to work with which was super helpful to mix the speeds of the edit and for clipping highlights which aided in the graphic-heavy look we were going for.”
What Laughlin speaks of can best be seen in the spot, All-Stars which successfully compares this year’s three all-stars, Giannis, Bledsoe and Khris, with a montage of the greatest Bucks from the last 5 decades.
One great thing about working with just footage is that as long as you have ideas you can keep going as is exemplified by this spot focusing solely on the Bucks’ mascot, Bango.
Having run creative for The Los Angeles Dodgers for two years, I know how challenging creating a campaign for a sports team can be. First, the athletes, if available at all, will only give a limited amount of time for advertising and marketing. Sometimes that time amounts to obscenely limited minutes like, say, 20. So many times, a creative team is left floundering with just sports footage. This is also footage shot for sports’ broadcasts not advertising.
With triumphant authority, Laughlin Constable answers the question: “how do you make it interesting so someone notices?”
According to the agency, there will be a total of six spots, running on TV, pre-roll and social channels. Since the NBA is highlight focused, each spot was designed to be broken out into smaller segments for social feeds.
CMO – Dustin Godsey
Director of Brand Marketing – Erin Borkowsky
Chief Creative Officer – Dan Fietsam
Creative Director – Pat Laughlin
Art Director – Cody Murri
Copywriter – Brian Sterricker
Visual Effects – Jesse Egan
Executive Producer – Andy Gorzalski
Senior Account Manager – Jonathan Cleveland
Integrated Producer – Lynne Fraser
Contact Colin Costello at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.